888poker Launches Flopomania Game with No Pre-Flop Play
888poker, one of the UK’s largest online poker rooms, has launched two new games aimed at completely changing the poker format by removing pre-flop play, to a mixed response.
The two new games, Flopomania and Push or Fold Flopomania, are part of 888poker’s continued campaign against what the company describes as ‘buzzkill’. The new games completely remove pre-flop play all together. In Flopomania, blinds are abolished and replaced with an ante for each player. The flop is dealt immediately after the hole cards and No-Limit Hold’em action begins from there. In Push or Fold Flopomania, all players start with a pre-determined amount, and can either move all-in or fold, streamlining the game even further by reducing each round to a single decision.
The games have been met with suspicion by large parts of the poker community who claim that 888poker is dumbing-down the game, moving it closer towards traditional luck-based gambling and removing the element of skill. In response, high-profile 888poker ambassadors Chris Moorman and Dominik Nitsche released statements saying that they believe there is still a skill element to the new games.
Flopomania was leaked online earlier this month. 888poker published and then quickly pulled the game, announcing a ‘technical incident’ as the cause, but it got the conversation started amongst the poker community about these new types of games entering the market.
Some players spend 20-30 seconds making trivial decisions; the winnings often go to the same players – this is what we think is unbalanced in our game, and why a lot of people abandoned it. We want to bring them back to play on 888. – An 888poker representative speaking at 888Live Barcelona
In May this year, 888poker announced its new mission statement to eliminate some of the more traditional elements of the game. The poker site recently announced plans to include a shot clock in all 888Live Main Events and High Roller tournaments to put an end to ‘tanking’ – a term used to describe players who take a long time to make decisions, running down the current 30 second time limit clock.
Also in May, 888poker launched its new Fast Blast games, in which a five-person tournament takes as little as six minutes. The games can be bought into for anywhere between $0.10 and $30.